The demolition derby of humanity known as the NFL continues to churn on and keeps filling my office with patients.
Doug Martin of the Bucs missed last night’s game with a torn labrum and could be done for the year. Reggie Wayne and Sam Bradford are both toast with ACL injuries. Jay Cutler of the Bears is out for four weeks with a groin injury. Jermichael Finley is done for the year after a scary neck injury and bruised spine.
Let’s go a little more in-depth on the Martin injury.
The labrum is a cuff of cartilage in the shoulder that helps the gives the upper arm a place to move and rotate. If your labrum is torn, things like throwing a baseball would be very painful. In football, that would mean trying to get your arms up to catch a pass would be difficult at best. A torn labrum is usually taken care of with surgery depending on the way it’s damaged.
The Bucs, however, aren’t going that route. I’ve seen some estimates of two weeks for Martin to return. Other places have said eight weeks. Some people think he should opt for surgery and call it a year with a trip to the injured reserve.
This reminds me of the piss-poor way the Jacksonville Jaguars handled the Lisfranc injury of Maurice Jones-Drew last season. The Jaguars sucked last season and have somehow managed to get even worse this season. He wound up losing 10 games to the injury last season and for some stupid reason decided to wait until the offseason to have the surgery. MJD should have had the surgery right away and been done with it.
Martin looks like the 2013 version of this. Both are talented running backs on awful teams that are holding out hope they can get their star player (and seat filler) back in action. The Bucs should have learned from their cross-state rivals how not to handle this situation and clearly they didn’t.
With Tampa at 0-7, there’s no reason to bring Martin back this season. The right move is to put him on the operating table, get him done up and start getting ready for next season. If Martin is your franchise back, you need him as healthy as possible. Why wait to start the recovery process when your teams sucks like a Hoover vacuum?
So what do you do with him? In keeper and dynasty formats you hang on to him. This is only his second year in the league. In redraft formats I would wait to drop him until he is officially on IR. The last thing you want to have happen is Martin to be gone for a while and pop late in the season. Your opponent grabs him off of the waiver wire and hoses you with a talented back in the playoffs.
Hold Martin on your roster for now. Wait and see what happens and be ready to dump him for someone else in a redraft league when more clarity comes about.
Let’s take a quick look at other key injuries around the league this week.
Arizona running back Rashard Mendenhall (toe) is questionable after missing practice yesterday. The Arizona run game as a whole has been awful this season so he stays on the bench unless half of your team is on bye this week. Andre Ellington is the better back in Arizona but good luck getting Bruce Arians to ever move him ahead of Mendenhall on the depth chart. Ellington is great in PPR formats. The other thing about that quagmire is that Ryan Williams was the #2 back last season but has been buried on the depth chart behind Mendenhall, Ellington and two rookies. Williams hasn’t seen the light of day yet as he’s been inactive for seven games.
Atlanta wide receiver Roddy White is game-time decision against Arizona. It’s a double-whammy that it’s a later game in the desert. Steven Jackson of the Falcons is also battling a leg injury but is likely to get his first start since Week 1 when the Falcons take on the Cards. It’s hard to know how he will be utilized without Julio Jones and potentially Roddy White on the field.
Buffalo backs CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson are going to be interesting to see how they play out. Spiller really hasn’t been right all season and Jackson had a scary moment last week with what looked to be a serious knee injury against Miami. Spiller is questionable this week, Jackson is expected to play against the Saints. You need healthy running backs to slow down the New Orleans offense and Jackson should be the guy to start this week. Then again, this is football where bad decisions are made all the time.
DeMarco Murray (knee sprain) could be back this week. He sprained the posterior collateral ligament of the knee which can take up to four weeks to heal up properly. Phillip Tanner is also expected back for Dallas so it looks like Joseph Randle may have been just a one-week ride. The smart thing to have done for Dallas would be to sit him out until the team goes on bye in Week 11 and have him healthy for the stretch run. Then again, what do I know? I just play a doctor on the internet.
James Jones (sprained knee) of the Packers missed practice and is questionable for Sunday. The better move would be to let him sit the game out since the Packers can’t afford to be down both Cobb and Jones for an extended period of time.
Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon of the Jags are both expected to play this week despite shoulder and hamstring injuries, respectively. Then again they are in London taking on San Francisco so I would exercise a little caution starting them.
Adrian Peterson (hamstring) will play. It’s gotten in his head that the injury is slowing him down mentally which is never a good sign. An even worse sign is Josh Freeman is your starting quarterback. Thankfully, he won’t be as Freeman has a concussion and Christian Ponder will get the call to hand the ball off to AP.
Jimmy Graham of the Saints is questionable with an ankle injury he suffered late in the game at New England. He’s in an early game so that’s a plus but be ready to consider Benjamin Watson if you need him in a pinch for the Saints and their tight-end friendly offense.
Brandon Jacobs of the Giants is questionable (leg) for this week after missing Monday’s game. Look for a better report on him later today. If not, Peyton Hillis makes a sneaky bye -week fill-in if you need it.
As always, check the injury reports that come out today for a clearer picture of what to expect this Sunday.